Margarethenhöhe Essen Reviews
A distinct village for Krupp employees Aug 11, 2015
Margarethenhöhe is a residential area in Essen that is famous for its pioneering architecture. This estate was donated in 1906 by Mrs. Margarethe Krupp, senior owner of Krupp company, as a model housing estate for Krupp employees. After World War II, it was restored according to its traditional shape.
This village is located around a market square with hotel and supermarket, it also has one school and two churches. The surrounding valleys are preserved as parks.
Subway line U 17 to Essen Central Station is running every 10 minutes. Parking is free, but visitors have to compete with local residents.
Part of the list Route der Industriekultur
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Margarethenhöhe Aug 26, 2010
Margarethenhöhe is a social housing project of the early 20th century, influenced by the garden city movement. The idea was providing healthy housing with fresh air and light and a patch of garden to grow some vegetables and fruit.
Again, the mighty Krupp family are behind it. Margarethe Krupp, the widow of Friedrich Alfred Krupp, took a large sum from her personal property and started a houseing foundation for poor families in 1906. She intended a settlement for 12,000 people, in the end it turned out about half the size. Construction works started in 1909. The last houses were only finished in 1938. Unlike other Krupp settlements (Altenhof, Brandenbusch) the Margarethenhöhe was not meant for Krupp workers only but open to all citizens of Essen.
In World War II 44% of the houses were destroyed but rebuilt in the following decade. After the war the settlement was extended, again on real estate donated by the Krupps.
The settlement covers a hill soutwest of the city centre. It is almost a small town of its own. There is a school, a catholic church, a market square and so on. The houses are built in a somehow uniform style and appearance but shapes and decorations differ. Each street and alley looks different. New street views open up round every corner. Walking Margarethenhöhe is pleasant. Zigzag the side streets and alleys. Spot the little paradises people have created for themselves: a cosy garden, a bench at the front door surrounded by flower pots... The dark grey colour of the walls is very „Ruhrpott“, though.
Remember what the early industrial cities used to look like. Think about the working conditions in a mine or a factory. The architecture of Margarethenhöhe has been critizised as being too romantic. On the other hand, a pretty home can also be understood as a comfort and reward for an otherwise grim life.
How to get there: U 17 in direction - foolproof - „Margarethenhöhe“. Three options:
1. Get off at „Halbe Höhe“. Follow the street along the tram line across the big bridge overthe valley to approach the settlement from the bottom. This is the most impressive approach via the gatehouse and into the oldest part. Disadvantage: you have to walk uphill the whole way.
2. Get off at „Laubenweg“ and you are in the middle of the settlement close to the church.
3. My recommendation: Stay on the tram until „Margarethenhöhe“, impossible to miss as it is the terminus of the line, and explore in downhill direction. The tram passes through the main street of the settlement, so you will already have an idea of the style. Make sure you leave the main street and venture into the side alleys. No worries about losing your way. Any generally downhill direction will inevitably take you to the gatehouse in the end. The nearest tram stop for the return is „Halbe Höhe“ at the far end of the big bridge.
Part of the Travels in the Ruhr District travel blog